Garry used to read three newspapers every day. It was partly because he was a reporter and needed to know what was going on, but also because he actually wants to know what’s happening in his world.


Me? I’ve always been a newspaper skimmer. A glance through the front page, then a rapid trip through the rest of the stories. I was always fond of The New York Times because they treated archaeological finds as headline news.

No other newspaper did (does) that.

Robert Kennedy-Headline

My other favorite paper was The Vineyard Gazette, published on Martha’s Vineyard (it’s a subsidiary of The Boston Globe which is owned by The New York Times). They treated bird-sightings as important news. I felt that these papers understand the meaning of the word “news,” that it wasn’t just crime, disaster, and politics. There really are other things that are at least as important. For some of us, much more important.

Polio-salk-vaccine newspaper

Book reviews, movie reviews, news of exhibits at museums … to me these are news. I guess they don’t sell papers the way stories of fresh disasters can.

These days, politics is news of fresh disasters. I wonder if newspapers are selling better these days?



Too much has been written about the angst of aging
And the war against it we’ve recently been waging.
Baby Boomers have made it a major obsession
And a cause for situational depression.
We need to improve the P.R. on getting old,
Increase the positive things about it we’re told,
Help change our youth-oriented system of belief
To understand, our later years can be a relief.

There are many stereotypes and caricatures
That each “senior” hears and silently endures.
But we can turn this to our advantage if we’re smart
And get a free pass if we just “play the part”.
People think getting crotchety is par for the course
So we can be brutally blunt with no remorse.
Being polite and P.C. is hard and frustrating
And saying what we really think is liberating.
Perhaps there is a problem with our “editing chip”
But its fun to open up our mouths and “let her rip!”

It’s easy to joke about memory malfunction
And even laugh at ourselves, with no compunction.
But when we regularly “misplace” our purse and keys,
We’re convinced we have an incurable disease.
But the flip side of this annoying new trait
Is we can use it to get out of things that we hate.
“I forgot” can become our go to, all-purpose phrase
Its success, in most cases, will truly amaze.
“I forgot the: date, time, request”, (fill in the blank)
And “You’re sure you told me?” you can take to the bank.

“I forgot to write it down! Did you need it today?”
Gets sympathy and keeps recriminations at bay.

But after working so long, our retirement years
Can trigger all kinds of anxieties and fears.
The specter of assisted living can be scary
And there are clearly reasons to be a bit wary.
But think – we have our life’s dream in many ways
To live like we did in our college/frat days;
Imagine, to help weather this emotional storm,
That we’re returning to something like a college dorm.
In both we can socialize with those on our floor
But if “busy” we can leave a tie, or sock on our door.
There are programs and classes we can cut or attend,
There is staff (like R.A’s) on whom we can depend.
We get meals, so we don’t have to shop, plan or cook;
Also drugs, though not as good as the ones we once took.

It’s hard to stop being an overachiever
And transition from caregiver to care receiver.
But, again, we can see it as cashing in life’s chits
And focus on the obvious benefits.
The “shoulds” and “have to’s” don’t control us any more
We are less weighted down doing things we abhor.
Our kids worry when they can’t reach us on the phone
And won’t let us spend too much time home alone.
Though you know they’re afraid we’ll be dead on the floor,
Feel the love! The mortality issues – just ignore.
You can get used to all this service and attention,
Not see it as annoying, morbid intervention.

And yet – the saying: “Youth is wasted on the young” is true
And we can also see, from our new point of view,
That retirement could better be savored and enjoyed
With the bodies and minds we had when young and employed!
But whatever crap we deal with, in our hearts we know
It beats being adrift on an Arctic ice floe!


I feel honored to be chosen by Cee Neuner  to participate in the Seven Day Nature Challenge.

The challenge asks I post one photo per day for a week. The subject can be anything, as long as it comes from the natural world. About 90% of my work is landscape or wildlife photography. I do side trips to architecture and portraits –and I’m always trying to get a good picture of my dogs — but overall, there’s more of Autumn, the Blackstone River, water fowl, Arizona, and sunrise and sunset.

On this sixth day of the challenge is going down the river. My river, the Blackstone and it’s tributary, the Mumford River, both of which flow through Uxbridge.

Cee and I are acquainted with most of the same groups of photo bloggers and pretty much anyone I can think to nominate has already been nominated. If by some quirk of luck, you have been overlooked, please participate. Consider yourself nominated and chosen! Especially if these are the kind of pictures you usually post, it’s no stretch to just post them as part of the challenge.

Come one, come all!